BK Aviation launched yesterday with the inaugural flight of its new Cessna Grand Caravan from the United States to Guyana via Antigua.
The US$3 million investment will be added to the existing JAGS Aviation fleet, which was acquired by the BK Group of Companies this year.
Director of JAGS Aviation, Briony Tiwarie stated that the new plane will advance the aviation sector within the BK Group of Companies as a chartered airline. She said that it was the vison of the company to already look towards expansion.
Tiwarie said that the new aircraft, which landed at the Ogle International Airport
after a slight delay in Antigua, will be used to facilitate the growth in the BK Group of Companies and will operate to increase communication and travel in support of the mining and tourism sectors.
Chairman of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Hugh Denbow stated that he was pleased to hear that the new directors of JAGS were eager learners as the industry needed competent persons to advance the sector. Denbow said that non-scheduled chartered flights remain the greatest challenge to aviation in Guyana and that airlines needed to expand on qualified and experienced personnel.
He said that it was the responsibility of all within the industry to ask for more from the sector in terms of work ethic. Denbow said that the industry needed to rid itself of persons who would leave the tower unmanned. This was a clear reference to an incident at the control tower at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri where an air traffic controller left his position as a plane was preparing to land.
Labour Minister, Dr Nanda Gopaul echoed Denbow’s sentiments noting that training was imperative to the industry.
The plane’s Guyanese registration was unveiled as 8R-ABK after the captain and crew were cleared through customs. The Cessna is capable of seating 13 and is equipped with oxygen to allow for it to operate as a medevac. JAGS Aviation will be renting space out of the Guyana Sugar Corporation’s Ogle hangar to house the new plane until BK Aviation constructs its own handling facility.